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"world, than he who has never experi «enced adversity." There is nothing, perhaps, in which mankind are more apt to make falfe calculations than in the article both of their own happiness and that of others; as there are few, I believe, who have lived any time in the world, but have found frequent occafions to fay with the poor hunted ftag in the fable, who was entangled by those horns he had but just before been admiring;

O me infelicem! qui nunc demum intelligo,
Ut illa mihi profuerint quæ defpexeram,
Et quæ laudaram quantum luctus habuerint!

If we look back upon the fentiments of past ages, we shall find, the opinion for which I am contending has prevailed from the remoteft account of time. It must undoubtedly have entered the world as early as religion herself; fince all inftitu tions of that kind must neceffarily be founded upon the fuppofition of a particular Providence. It appears indeed to have been the favorite doctrine of fome of the moft diftinguished names in antiquity. Xenophon tells us, when Cyrus led out his army


army against the Affyrians, the word which he gave to his foldiers was, ZETΣ ΣYMΜΑΧΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΗΓΕΜΩΝ, Jupiter our auxiliary and conductor:" and he represents that prince as attributing fuccefs even in the sports of the field, to divine providence. Thus, likewise, Timoleon (as the author of his life affures us) believed every action of mankind to be under the immediate influence of the Gods: and Livy remarks of the firft Scipio Africanus, that he never undertook any important affair, either of private or public concern, without going to the Capitol in order to implore the affiftance of Jupiter. Balbus the Stoic, in the dialogue on the nature of the gods, exprefly declares for a particular providence: and Cicero himself, in one of his orations, imputes that fuperior glory which attended the Roman nation, fingly to this animating perfuafion. But none of the antients feem to have had a stronger impreffion of this truth upon their minds, than the immortal Homer. Every page in the works of that divine, poet will furnish proofs of this obfervation. I cannot however for



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bear mentioning one or two remarkable inftances, which just now occur to me. When the Grecian chiefs caft lots which of them fhould accept the challenge of Hector, the poet defcribes the army as lifting up their eyes and hands to heaven, and imploring the gods that they would direct the lot to fall on one of their most diftinguished heroes:

Λαοι θεοισί δε χειράς ανέσκον, Ωδε τις είπεσκεν, ιδων εις ερανόν ευρύν Ζευ τσαλερ, η Αιανία λάχειν, η Τυδέος μον. : Η αυτον Βασιλιά πολυχρύσοιο. Μυκήνης a.

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So likewise Antenor propofes to the Trojans the reftitution of Helen, as having no hopes, he tells them, that any thing would fucceed with them after they had broken the faith of treaties:

νυν ορκία τιςα Ψευσαμενοι μαχόμεθα του ε νυ τι κερδίον ἡμῖν Ελπομαι εκλελέθαι

The people pray with lifted eyes and hands,
*And vows like thefe afcend from all the bands:
Grant, thou Almighty, in whofe hand is fate,
A worthy champion for the Grecian flate:
This talk let Ajax or Tydides prove,

Or he, the king of kings, belov'd of Jove. POPE.

The ties of faith, the fworn alliance broke,
Our impious battles the juft gads provoke.


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And indeed Homer hardly ever makes his heroes fucceed (as his excellent translator juftly obferves) unless they have first offered a prayer to heaven. " He is per


petually, fays Mr. Pope, acknowledging "the hand of God in all events, and af"cribing to that alone all the victories, tri

umphs, rewards, or punishments of men. "The grand moral laid down at the en* trance of his poem, Διος δ' ετελείετο βελη, "The will of God was fulfilled, runs through "his whole work, and is, with a most re"markable care and conduct, put into the "mouths of his greateft and wifest persons


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on every occafion."

UPON the whole, Clytander, we may fafely affert, that the belief of a particular providence is founded upon fuch probable reafons as may well justify our affent. It would fcarce therefore be wife to renounce an opinion, which affords fo firm a fupport to the foul in thofe feasons wherein the ftands most in need of affiftance, merely because it is not poffible, in questions of this kind, to folve every difficulty which attends them. If it be highly confonant to our general notions D 2


of the benevolence of the Deity (as highly confonant it furely is) that he should not leave fo impotent à creature as man, to the fingle guidance of his own precarious faculties; who would abandon a belief fo full of the most enlivening confolation, in compliance with thofe metaphyfical reasonings which are ufually calculated rather to filence, than to fatisfy, an humble inquirer after truth? Who indeed would wish to be convinced, that he ftands unguarded by that heavenly shield, which can protect him against all the affaults of an injurious and malevolent world? The truth is, the belief of a particular providence is the most animating perfuafion that the mind of man can embrace: it gives ftrength to our hopes, and firmness to our refolutions; it fubdues the infolence of prosperity, and draws out the fting of affliction. In a word, it is like the golden branch to which Virgil's hero was directed, and affords the only fecure paffport thro the regions of darkness and forrow. I am, &c.


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